When Sarah Baker retired from her day job, she had no idea whether she would return to her first love—that of musician, singer/songwriter and performer. After a dozen years in academia, could she find her way back? She has, and in a big way. With renewed energy and time on her hands, Sarah began writing new songs while going through her older audio files. She found unreleased material from her earlier life and combined her new songs with them to offer an exciting retrospective of her work in a new album, Baker’s Dozen.
Among the 13 tunes (14 tracks—one is an intro), Blues Rock tune “Revolving Door Man,” the story blues “Venus of the Delta,” Urban Blues-influenced “Feeling the Blues,” and New Orleans nod “Don’t Forget to Boogaloo” all reflect Sarah’s southern upbringing as well as her California experience with these outstanding musicians. “Stay Here,” an Al Green throwback feel, sizzles with a sultry vibe of Memphis. The lagniappe, acoustic based “Sins of the Fathers” (the only cowrite on the album), presents a bold political statement in a Tex-Mex tinged track.
So Baker's Dozen is a collection of heartfelt soul blues and blues rock from a seasoned musician who brings a retro feel into the soundscape by gathering some of Northern California’s finest musicians to help her. The star-studded lineup includes Marin guitarist Mark Karan (Rat Dog), one of Sarah’s first musicians back in the day, Saxophonist Rob Sudduth (Huey Lewis and the News), longtime friend and bassist Mona Gnader (Sammy Hagar’s Waboritas), Northern California’s East Bay Garth Webber (Miles Davis), and Will McFarlane from the Muscle Shoals Swampers! Born and raised in rural West Tennessee equidistant from the fertile music regions of Memphis, Muscle Shoals, and Nashville, Sarah acknowledges influences from her coming of age in the Bible Belt. She learned harmony in church.; however, her rebellious soul led her to Memphis Clubs after college, where she saw Wilson Pickett at the Psycho Lounge, sat in with Tommy Ferguson Trio at the Sharecroppers Club, and hung around Hernando’s Hideaway while listening to the music of Stax, Sun, and Sam Phillips’ all female radio station, WHER.
Later tapped to join a repertory theater company, Kaleidoscope Players in Raton and Santa Fe, New Mexico, she moved there, subsequently forming rock bands the Mother Fox, playing in Taos based Oriental Blues Streaks and Dolly and the Lama Mountain Boys mentored by Dennis Hopper. Encouraged by members of the Family Dog, DLMB moved to San Francisco. After the band broke up, Sarah formed her own band and landed a deal with London Records. She has played on stage with artists Tom Petty, Etta James, Charlie Musselwhite, Maria Muldaur, Taj Mahal, and Cold Blood, and many others.
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